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Lecture: Deep Space & Deep Time
1. Range of space and time
A. electrons to Universe
B. microseconds (1/1,000,000 sec. ) to age of Universe (~14,000,000,000 years)
2. Units of measure
A. metric system
B. units of mass (M), length (L), time (T)
C. converting english to metric (1 km = 0.6 mi; 1 mi = 1.6 km)
D. prefixes (kilo, centi, milli, micro . . .)
3. Scientific notation
A. short and simple
B. orders of magnitude
4. How big is the universe?
A. light year = 9.46 x 1012 km
B. Visible Universe
• 1011 stars per galaxy X 1011 galaxies = 1022 stars
• 13.7x109 light years away èlight emitted 13.7 Ga (billion years ago)
èUniverse formed ~ 13.7 Ga
D. the Hubble Deep Field
5. Deep Time
• years (yr), thousands of years (ky), millions of years (my), billions of
years (Ga)
The Measure of Things
Mass of mosquito
~1 mg
Mass of Aspirin pill
0.3 g
Width of pencil lead
2 mm
Mass of 1 liter of water
1 kg
Average height adult male
1.8 m
Average room height
2.5 m
Length of medium-size car
Height of Empire State Building
381 m
Average depth of ocean
4 km
Distance New York to San Francisco
4800 km
Radius of Earth from pole to pole
6357 km
Radius of Earth at equator
6378 km
Average distance Earth to Moon
384,401 km = 1.282 light seconds
Average distance Earth to Sun
149,597,870.7 km = 8.3147 light minutes
Distance Sun to Pluto
5.47 light hours
Distance Sun to nearest spiral galaxy
2,140,000 light years
Age of Solar System
4.6 Ga (4.6 x 109 yrs)
Age of Universe (estimated)
13.7 Ga (13.7 x 109 yrs)